Boat size

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Knacc

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Usa
Hi all
Wife and I will be retiring with in the next 2years and plan to live aboard and travel.i am thinking that a 44 to 46 foot trawler would give us enough room and storage. Does this sound reasonable and is there any disadvantage of having this size boat. I know that maintenance would be more the bigger you go but I am more concerned about other things that I am not familiar with like dockage availability in marinas travling the ICW and down thru Florida. any information would be helpful as this will be a new adventure for us. I have had boats most of my life and have cruised the canals in New York State and have had many trips around Long Island. We currently have a 30 foot sea ray sun dancer and enjoy our time on the water.
 
That is one that I have been looking at only draw back I can see is getting on and off it appears that only access is from the swim platform
 
That is one that I have been looking at only draw back I can see is getting on and off it appears that only access is from the swim platform

Look for a Defever 49, which is the 44 with a five foot cockpit. For us, it's the perfect boat.
 
I suggest you expand your size range to 42 to 46 feet. There are a large number of models designated 42 feet, one of which may be perfect for you. The size creep to larger and larger boats in the past 15 years is a factor in looking for boats. Boats 15 years old and older may be slightly smaller and much cheaper.
 
Hi all
Wife and I will be retiring with in the next 2years and plan to live aboard and travel.i am thinking that a 44 to 46 foot trawler would give us enough room and storage. Does this sound reasonable and is there any disadvantage of having this size boat. I know that maintenance would be more the bigger you go but I am more concerned about other things that I am not familiar with like dockage availability in marinas travling the ICW and down thru Florida. any information would be helpful as this will be a new adventure for us. I have had boats most of my life and have cruised the canals in New York State and have had many trips around Long Island. We currently have a 30 foot sea ray sun dancer and enjoy our time on the water.

We can't answer that for you. It seems like a nice size but for some it's too large and some it's too small. Best way is for you to walk some and think exactly how you'd use it and then where things would go. A charter in the size boat you're thinking can always help too.
 
I think the question is largely the money and the willingness to use it on an annual boat, other than the purchase price. Service, polishing, washing, painting, fuel, port fees etc.


For us a family of 5 people is enough for the size Nordic tug 37, this summer we did about a three month cruise and we were happy with the functionality of the facilities. This size of a boat is still possible doging without the help of another person I personally appreciate greatly. I think two person i is good lay out live aboard.


NBs
 
Look at Defever 44s. Plenty of storage and comfortable for a couple.

Paul
We have owned a DF44 for four years. Sold our home last year and moved aboard full-time. Very comfortable. Plenty of storage. We were new to boating. The boat was not "too much" to learn to handle. We bought her in Florida and drove her home to Maryland.
 
That is one that I have been looking at only draw back I can see is getting on and off it appears that only access is from the swim platform
Nope. Access on both sides of the aft deck.
 
I think the question is largely the money and the willingness to use it on an annual boat, other than the purchase price. Service, polishing, washing, painting, fuel, port fees etc.


For us a family of 5 people is enough for the size Nordic tug 37, this summer we did about a three month cruise and we were happy with the functionality of the facilities. This size of a boat is still possible doging without the help of another person I personally appreciate greatly. I think two person i is good lay out live aboard.


NBs

There is another issue at play too and that is what one is use to. A typical family in many European countries that would have a 1300 sq ft home might have double that size in the US. So, going down to a boat is a much bigger change for that stereotypical US family. Go from a 900 sq ft apartment to a 37' is one thing, but go from a 3500 sq ft home much different. Perspective is the key. Also commitment. A lot of people talk about simplifying and downsizing and not needing all the space, but many of them are lying to you and to themselves. They aren't really mentally prepared.
 
There is another issue at play too and that is what one is use to. A typical family in many European countries that would have a 1300 sq ft home might have double that size in the US. So, going down to a boat is a much bigger change for that stereotypical US family. Go from a 900 sq ft apartment to a 37' is one thing, but go from a 3500 sq ft home much different. Perspective is the key. Also commitment. A lot of people talk about simplifying and downsizing and not needing all the space, but many of them are lying to you and to themselves. They aren't really mentally prepared.
This is particular to each of us. We went from a 5,200 sqf home to a Defever 44. The ONLY thing I miss is our gas range. And mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, etc, etc.
 
Thanks for the replies I think that my main concern is I just want to do it once and don't want the dreded 4 feet more issue. I figure that most of you guys have already been there done that. My 30 foot sea ray would be tight to say the least especially during a week or so of rainy weather. I was on a 40 foot mainship and although the outside space was great I found it to be a little tight so that is why I was thinking 44-46would be fine. We are currently still working and do not have the flexibility to travel or charter so I thought I would start here getting opinions
 
Interior volume is what you need to consider because there is so much fake length in newer boats today. A 42' may have been a 38' before they added small cockpit, swim platforms, bow sprits and a pointy bow. Trunk cabins and lower helm reduce living space as well. Get a boat large enough that some of the interior is built under wide side decks instead of side decks causing a narrow cabin.

An aft cabin gives much more useable space.
 
Without promoting one boat over another because you are so early in the looking stage...

The larger you can get the more room it will have. The more room in a boat, the more comfortable it will be, all other things being equal.

My opinion is a boat in 40-50’ range is very comfortable for a cruising couple. In that size range you often end up with little things that make a boat feel more like a home, and less like you are at a “cabin”.

I do not know about all areas, but in my area it is fairly easy to get a 50’ transient slip for a cruiser passing through. Boats that cannot fit in a 50’ slip are harder to find slip space for.

So yes, I think you are on the right track. Now it’s time to get on boats and look around. See for yourself the design compromises that different layout of boats represent in terms of galley placement, helm stations, boarding, stairs, etc... Walking on a few representative models will give you a good idea of the features you want to prioritize.
 
When I lived on a 34’ boat I had the perfect cruising size but it was just to small for living when winter came along. At 42’ I had a boat that was just a bit bigger than I liked for cruising and it was always just a bit to small for living on. At 54’ I am way to big to be a comfortable cruising boat but I am a great size for living aboard.

Hope this helps you in your quest.
 
Thanks for the replies I think that my main concern is I just want to do it once and don't want the dreded 4 feet more issue. I figure that most of you guys have already been there done that. My 30 foot sea ray would be tight to say the least especially during a week or so of rainy weather. I was on a 40 foot mainship and although the outside space was great I found it to be a little tight so that is why I was thinking 44-46would be fine. We are currently still working and do not have the flexibility to travel or charter so I thought I would start here getting opinions


We are from mid long Island but have visited Saugerties and Kingston often. You are going down the right track making sure that you select the best for for you. We have found that the most expensive boats ate the ones you buy twice....once initially and then again a year later when you figured you really wanted something else.
It is really best to have a list that is prioritized for your needs and wants - perhaps with dozens of items. First picture how you will want to use the boat and then picture where it is you will be using the boat. A boat in Saugerties without AC may be no big deal but when cruised down to Fla the list changes.
Here are a few starters for your list thoughts:
- tankage and range , water, fuel waste
- inside/outside operation
- draft or boat
- Height of boat above water
- how do you get to the ground tackle
- What dinghy/support boat will you carry
- How many heads
- Space to actually live
- Access/egress at fixed and floating docks
- Power requirements and various ports
- Genset , AC, heat, etc

A great problem to have - good luck and have fun
 
This is particular to each of us. We went from a 5,200 sqf home to a Defever 44. The ONLY thing I miss is our gas range. And mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, etc, etc.

All the more reason he can listen to opinions here but they must ultimately decide and the majority opinions here may be wrong for him.
 
Ocean Alexander 44 or 46 aft cabin sundeck with cockpit. Spectacular interiors and layout. Great build quality, efficient Monk semi-planning hull design, capable of a little speed when conditions or your schedule call for it. A modern take on the "trawler". Easy on the eyes, easy on the pocketbook. We live aboard during summer months...wouldn't own another boat in that size range.
 

Attachments

  • DSCN6388.jpg
    DSCN6388.jpg
    153.2 KB · Views: 57
Last edited:
Thanks Smitty great advice at least I have the feeling I am going in the right direction. Getting the time to see some boats is going to be the work there are not many in our area and now winer approaching I am pretty much done.
 
Thanks Smitty great advice at least I have the feeling I am going in the right direction. Getting the time to see some boats is going to be the work there are not many in our area and now winer approaching I am pretty much done.

Well - I do not know about some of the other good candidates but there have never been more Bayliner 4588/4788 Pilothouses for sale in this area before. Maybe 12 altogether between NJ, NY, LI and upstate NY. Some are projects and then some are in much better shape.
I owned 3 of these in the past so I am biased but found them to be very easy to live on and a good solution to our needs over 25 years.

Please - whatever you do make your own list first. Not someone else's idea of what a good fit is.
 
I was on a 40 foot mainship and although the outside space was great I found it to be a little tight so that is why I was thinking 44-46would be fine.

Knacc, you're getting good advice here so i'll just add that in my humble opinion you really cannot discount a certain LOA; for example, assuming 40 feet is not enough after your experience getting on a mainship 40.
Boats are so variable in many ways and there are other important factors like beam and how well the manufacturer designed storage and living spaces. As others have said, nothing beats climbing on a bunch of different models ;)
Attend a boat show or a Trawlerfest if you can.
 
This is such a personal decision I'm not sure much of the advice matters much. We know folks who lived very happily full time on 36 foot Krogen Manatees. Our "Goldilocks" boat turned out to be a 56' Hatteras, which was our only house for 6 years. The more years we had the more we loved living on it. But would I tell anyone else that a 56 Hatt was the ideal boat for them too? Absolutely not, I have no idea what the ideal boat is for a particular couple.

We had the advantage of having chartered a variety of boats in various shapes and sizes for 1-2 week vacations. These charters were about the best money we ever spent on boating, not just extremely fun but also informed us greatly on what we wanted in a full time liveaboard and cruising boat. It allowed us to make the decision together. Part of that decision wasn't just the boat, but if the fulltime boat life was for us to begin with.
 
Agree size is personal issue. As to boarding from a swim platform that works well if you back in to a slip or have slips long enough to go to platform. I use the swim platform and will dock based on that premise whenever possible and it works 99% of the time. Your boat and controls have to work well backing in and you need the personal ability to do it with confidence. I can see where some boats and some skippers would not go there. Many of the live aboard trawler types designed for maximum cottage accommodations may be difficult to board other than the swim platform.
 
This is such a personal decision I'm not sure much of the advice matters much. We know folks who lived very happily full time on 36 foot Krogen Manatees. Our "Goldilocks" boat turned out to be a 56' Hatteras, which was our only house for 6 years. The more years we had the more we loved living on it. But would I tell anyone else that a 56 Hatt was the ideal boat for them too? Absolutely not, I have no idea what the ideal boat is for a particular couple.

We had the advantage of having chartered a variety of boats in various shapes and sizes for 1-2 week vacations. These charters were about the best money we ever spent on boating, not just extremely fun but also informed us greatly on what we wanted in a full time liveaboard and cruising boat. It allowed us to make the decision together. Part of that decision wasn't just the boat, but if the fulltime boat life was for us to begin with.

Wifey B: :thumb:

You can't figure this out by just asking and listening to others. You have to feel them. Go to shows. Walk around docks. If someone speaks to you tell them what you're doing and they may very well invite you to look at theirs. You have to feel the boat out two ways. First is just initial impression. Don't argue with it. If it feels claustrophobic to you or you can't stand the galley setup, it's not the one for you. Then there is in-depth looking. Stand around talking about "Ok, I have two many pots and pans. Plenty of room here for what I need. Oh, where would I put my shoes. Imelda, you can't bring 500 pairs on a boat." Note things like washer and dryer and convenience. Think of what from land you'd have to give up and if it's anything really important to you. You may board a 50' boat and think it feels tiny and board a 44' and think it feels huge. One of the biggest contrasts would be the Sea Ray Sundancers to a similarly sized trawler. Going to feel very different. Look at bazillions of boats carefully online discussing things you like and don't about them. :D

Then hubby made me write it all down. Well, actually he had a spreadsheet. But make a list of musts and wants and deal breakers along the way. There will be some absolutes. For some it's the galley location, up or down. For some the location of the master stateroom. If you were to decide it absolutely couldn't be in the bow, then that would eliminate a few boats, especially smaller ones. Flybridge or not, ladders or steps, single or double helms, air conditioning. Every day you spend looking in person or online should help eliminate and narrow. :)
 

Latest posts

Back
Top Bottom